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London craft brewer Fourpure acquired by Australia’s Lion

British craft beer brand Fourpure has been acquired by Lion, as the Australian company seeks to gain a foothold in the European craft beer market.

Founded in 2013 by brothers Daniel and Thomas Lowe, Fourpure is located in London. Lion said it was attracted to the brand’s “approachable styles and flagship beers” like Pils Lager and Session IPA.

Kirin-owned Lion, the company behind Castlemaine XXXX, launched its international unit in 2015 to take the company’s Australian and New Zealand craft beers and ciders into new markets and accelerate the growth of its wine business in North America.

The firm aims to capitalise on the growth of the UK craft beer market; in the first eight months of 2017 canned craft beer sales in the country were up 327%.

Fourpure is the latest British brand to secure investment from an international company or be bought out completely. Last month Heineken acquired a £40 million stake in Beavertown Brewery, complementing its purchase of a minority stake in Brixton Brewery last year. Meanwhile, Camden Town Brewery was bought by AB InBev in 2015.

Lion said that in the future there will be an opportunity to look at how Fourpure’s distribution channels can be used to reach more drinkers, not only in the UK but also in Europe.

Fourpure CEO Daniel Lowe said: “Over the past 12 months we’ve been working hard to find the right investment path for the next phase of the Fourpure story. While in four short years Fourpure has grown to become one of London’s leading independent modern craft brewers, we knew we couldn’t take the next adventure alone.

“We met Lion towards the end of our process after a wide range of funding options had been considered, and quickly realised we had a shared vision and values.

“It was clear from the very first meeting that Matt and the Lion team understand the needs of a craft brewery and share our aspirations for quality and sustainability. Lion’s past investments in craft breweries in Australia and New Zealand, including Little Creatures, have always respected the beer and the people.”

Lion said it was attracted to Fourpure’s “approachable styles and flagship beers”.

Lion global markets managing director Matt Tapper said: “Lion has a long and proud history in craft beer in Australia and New Zealand and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to back Dan, Tom and the team to take Fourpure into its next chapter.

“The guys have done a superb job in getting the business to where it is now and we love how innovative they’ve been in both beer styles and the way they have positioned the brand.

“We’re making real progress in making our craft beers like Little Creatures available in the UK and Europe and we see some great opportunities to work together to get these and Fourpure’s brews in the hands of more beer lovers.”



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